July 2, 2015: Douala, Cameroon — I had a couple of hours this morning before leaving Ghana, so Kalu and his friend Jonathan took me to a large wetland in Accra called Sakumono Lagoon. It was a productive session, but all too soon it was time to head for the airport. This week has gone by in a flash.
Kalu is very charming and sharp, and is excellent company on a birding trip. (If you ever visit Ghana and are looking for a guide, he’d be a big help. Check out his website here.)
We really nailed the birds, too: In seven days, we found 318 species of birds, 294 of which (92 percent) were new ones for me!
What a boost for the big year—and a heck of an introduction to Africa’s birdlife.
Ghana is sometimes called the “Gateway to Africa,” and I’ve now passed through the gate. My path leads next to Cameroon, maybe the most exotic place I’ve yet visited this year.
It may not quite be deepest, darkest Africa, but Cameroon is getting closer; its jungles are one of the wettest places on the planet, and I am visiting during the rainy season. I’ll have 10 days in this country—I hope it doesn’t rain the entire time…
My plane touched down in Douala, Cameroon’s biggest city, at dusk, and I could see green, flooded forests stretching away from the runway. Thick clouds were stacked over the city.
As the plane landed, I realized that today is Day 183, exactly halfway through this year—we are now closer to the end of 2015 than the beginning! If the second half of the year is anything like the first, it’s going to be a wild ride.
New birds today: 6
Year list: 3356